Soft Gingerbread Tiles with Rum Butter Glaze from Sweet

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It's no surprise that everything from Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh’s new book Sweet is craveworthy, but I am obsessed with these stamped gingerbread. I have made them at least 5 times this holiday season, and I’ll probably make them again if I get the chance. They are perfect Christmas cookies - beautiful, tasty, easy to make in large quantities, and they taste great after a few days at room temperature.

I do add a bit more spice than is called for in the recipe (which is reflected below) because I like a little extra cardamom and allspice in my gingerbread. I also add a pinch of salt to the glaze because I think it helps the buttery flavor pop. t's safe to say that these are going in the permanent Christmas cookie rotation. 

A note about cookie stamps: The one I use is hand carved and pretty similar to the ones available here. Happy Baking!


Did you know I am teaching a food and photography workshop in PARIS (!) with Olaiya Land this Spring? There are only a few spots left. Click through to learn more and reserve your spot.  See you in Paris!


Soft Gingerbread Tiles with Rum Butter Glaze

lightly adapted from Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh

EDIT 12/21/18 - I have gotten several comments that the dough was dry and crumbly and when I went to make these again this year I had the same issue. I added another 2T of butter which seemed tofu the problem so I have adjusted the recipe to reflect that change. If you would like to try the original recipe as written use 6 Tablespoons (85g) butter. I also like to use 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, and 1/4 teaspoon allspice to the mix.

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

8 tablespoons (115g) unsalted butter at room temperature

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (90g) dark brown sugar

1/4 cup (100g) blackstrap molasses

1 large egg yolk

1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (235g) all purpose flour

1 tablespoon dutch process cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

Rum Butter Glaze

2/3 cup (80g) confectioner’s sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and warm

1 tablespoon dark rum (or lemon juice)

1 teaspoon warm water

pinch salt

Place the butter, sugar and molasses in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg yolk.

Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Reduce the speed of the mixer and add the dry ingredients to the butter and molasses. Once the mix comes together, tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently.


Roll out the dough so it’s about 1/4-inch thick (no need to chill it first, but the dough can be wrapped in cling film and kept in the fridge for up to two days before baking). Preheat oven 325F. Line two baking trays with baking parchment and set aside.


Dip the cookie stamps in a small bowl of flour, shake off any excess and then press them firmly into the dough, one at a time, to create a deep imprint. Using a round biscuit cutter that is slightly larger than the pattern, cut out the pieces of imprinted gingerbread.


Transfer the cookies to the lined baking trays about 1-inch apart. Re-roll the dough and continue to stamp and cut until all the dough is used up. Bake for 9-10 mins, rotating the trays halfway through, until firm to the touch. They will continue to firm as they cool.


Prepare the glaze while the biscuits are in the oven, as it needs to be brushed on while they are still warm. Sift the icing sugar and cinnamon into a bowl. Add the melted butter, rum (or lemon juice) and water and mix with a spoon until smooth. The glaze will thicken slightly if it sits around, so stir through a little more warm water if you need to – it should be the consistency of runny honey.


Remove the biscuits from the oven, leave to rest for 5 mins, then brush or dab the glaze all over with a pastry brush. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Biscuits will keep for up to five days in an airtight container.

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Browned Butter Sweet Potato Squares

Browned Butter Sweet Potato Squares | Organic Valley Butter
Browned Butter Sweet Potato Squares | Organic Valley Butter
Browned Butter Sweet Potato Squares | Organic Valley Butter
Browned Butter Sweet Potato Squares | Organic Valley Butter
Browned Butter Sweet Potato Squares | Organic Valley Butter
Browned Butter Sweet Potato Squares | Organic Valley Butter
Browned Butter Sweet Potato Squares | Organic Valley Butter

And just like that it’s December. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas always throws me for a loop and it is always packed with work - everyone (including me) scrambling to tie up loose ends and finish projects before everyone vanishes until the New Year.

I spend a lot of evenings in the kitchen during these weeks, making cookies and treats to send to friends and family that live across the country, a task I lovingly call “elfing”. I channel my inner Buddy and pull out my sprinkles and sugar and most importantly, I pull out the best Organic Valley cultured butter. For this recipe, I browned that butter, which transforms it into a rich and nutty base for decadent sweet potato squares - a riff on the classic sweet potato pie.

Pecans and sweet potatoes are longtime friends. They have been paired together in many-a-casserole, topped with marshmallows and toasted to be served alongside a holiday meal and that’s all fine and good, but in these bars the flavor of those ingredients really shine. Toasted pecans are folded into a rich shortbread with a hefty pinch of salt, and all that browned butter, of course. The roasted sweet potatoes are enhanced with just a touch of maple syrup, a pour of heavy cream, and just a bit of creme fraiche to add a tangy note that helps balance the sweetness of the swirly meringue top – a vast improvement on marshmallows from a bag if you ask me.


This post was sponsored by Organic Valley - You can visit this link for a coupon to pick up your own Organic Valley butter and cream. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Apt. 2B Baking Co, all opinions are my own, and you know I love butter! 


BROWNED BUTTER SWEET POTATO PIE SQUARES

makes about 16 squares

Nutty browned butter and toasted pecans are the perfect pair in the shortbread that is the base for this twist on sweet potato pie. The recipe as written makes a thicker than average shortbread base, and you can see in the photos that there are just about equal parts crust and filling, which I happen to love. For a thinner base and lower crust to filling ratio, the shortbread recipe can be cut in half. Also, it should be noted that the buttery pecan shortbread is totally fantastic on it's own! Just bake until golden all over, about 20-25 minutes rather than par baking. Happy Butter Season! 

Crust

1 cup pecans

1 cup, plus 3 Tablespoons Organic Valley Cultured Unsalted Butter

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling

2 cups roasted, pureed sweet potatoes

6 tablespoons maple syrup

3/4 cup Organic Valley Heavy Cream

1/2 cup crème fraiche

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

Topping

3 egg whites

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet in an even layer and toast in the oven until golden and fragrant. Cool slightly then pulse in a food processor until finely ground.

While the pecans are toasting, brown the butter. In a light colored saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until the butter foams. Continue cooking until the foam subsides and the butter is golden in color and smells nutty and fragrant. Transfer the butter to a mixing bowl to cool, set aside 3 tablespoons of the browned butter for the filling.

When the butter has cooled, stir in the flour, sugar, vanilla, salt, and toasted ground pecans. Pat the dough evenly into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

While the crust is baking prepare the filling by whisking the reserved browned butter along with all of the other filling ingredients until smooth. Pour the filling over the warm crust and put the pan back into the oven. Cook until the filling is set, but slightly wiggly in the center, about 30 minutes.

Just before the bars are finished baking make the meringue. Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in a mixing bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the mixture together until the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites are very warm to the touch. Remove the pan from the heat and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Beat in the vanilla and salt.

Top the warm, baked sweet potato filling with swoops of meringue and toast with a culinary torch or under a hot broiler for a few seconds. Cool completely, cut into squares and serve. Keep extra bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days, the crust will soften as it sits. 

Browned Butter Sweet Potato Squares | Organic Valley Butter